Vets across the Netherlands are asking cat owners to ensure their pets have all the necessary vaccinations after cases of a highly contagious and deadly feline virus were reported in Ermelo and Harderwijk.
Make sure your cat has the proper vaccinations
Unvaccinated cats and kittens are most at risk from the disease, known as the panleukopenia virus. If cats are unvaccinated, vets are asking members of the public to make vaccination appointments as soon as possible, and to keep the cat indoors until the appointment.
The virus spreads through the excretion (saliva, vomit, tear fluid, or faeces) of an infected cat, and can survive for a long time on different kinds of materials. Therefore, even indoors, your cat may not be guaranteed safety, as the virus could be brought in on your shoes.
Symptoms of the disease are drowsiness, high fever, vomiting, and diarrhea. Around 90 percent of cats infected with the virus sadly do not survive, however there are possible treatments available, including an intravenous infusion or even a blood transfusion.
The disease doesn’t affect humans
Luckily, the virus is not dangerous to other pets, or to humans, and as long as your cat is properly vaccinated then it is safe too.
To be immune to the virus, cats need to have been vaccinated with the so-called “big cocktail” in the last three years - if you don’t remember if your pet has received this vaccination, you can check the cat’s vaccination booklet or animal passport for the Tricat sticker.
If you have just welcomed a new kitten into your home, vets are also advising the kitten receives an extra round of vaccinations. Kittens are typically vaccinated at nine and twelve weeks, and vets now advise a third dose at sixteen weeks.